You may be wondering what exactly content marketing is.
Over the course of the next 3 blog posts, I’ll walk you through all the details of not only what it is, but more importantly what you can do to use content to market your business, your products, and your services.
I promise to get into the “how to” details and I will have plenty of strategies you can try for yourself.
First though, let’s talk about what exactly content marketing is and why it is so crucial these days.
It doesn’t matter if you have an online or offline business. People use the internet more than anything else to find information and to find you. The days of yellow page ads and flyers or ads in the local paper are gone. The best way to make sure you are easy to find is to have plenty of content out there to do the marketing and selling for you.
Online content can come in a variety of different formats.
- written content
- audio and video content
- infographics and the like.
They are all great pieces that can be used in your overall marketing strategy. To market with content simply means that you use informational and educational pieces of content to promote your website and what you have to offer.
The idea is that other people will find your content, read it, watch it, or listen to it, and learn from it. This helps them to get to know you and most importantly, it helps to build trust and build that relationship that gets them comfortable doing business with you.
As with any other advertising and marketing method, the idea is to get out there in front of people who are interested in what you have to offer.
That means your blog or website isn’t the only place where you use content marketing. It may also include posting on Facebook, tweeting regularly, creating content on LinkedIn, or recording educational videos to share on YouTube.
It means creating keyword based content so you can be found on Google, but also other platforms that we don’t necessarily think of as search engines like Pinterest and again YouTube which is now the number two search platform.
Let’s get started as there is a lot to go through.
- Content is King, Or Is It?
- Why You Need A Content Marketing Plan
Content is King, Or Is It?
The importance of publishing relevance cannot be understated.
That’s why Bill Gates first said that
Content is King”
in 1996. He went further and stated, “Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the internet, just as it was in broadcasting.”
Truer words have rarely been spoken. If you look at the history of the internet and where it’s going, it’s clear. Content is, in fact, king and will remain so. This means that you have a wonderful opportunity to do a lot with the content you publish and it all starts with your audience.
Educate your Audience
Content directed toward the issues and information that your audience cares about is a great way to educate them on a problem, issue, and solution.
For example, if you have a business selling your coaching services the type of content you develop will be focused on teaching your audience about their problems and the need for coaching as a solution to their problems.
Makes You a Thought Leader
If you study your industry well enough and publish what you’ve learned, you can become known as a thought leader once you’ve published enough content.
You’ll want to publish content in all different forms but it might be print, infographics, video, or audio. This will help spread your message far and wide so that your audience can find you.
When you share information with your audience from the first email, blog post, social media update or another type of interaction starts to establish and build a relationship with the people as individuals.
People don’t read your content online in groups. You’re reaching each person one-on-one and due to that, it’s more personal to the person consuming your content. They start to feel as if they know you. Knowing you is the first step in the “know, like, trust” trinity.
Facilitates Customer Loyalty
When you give information to your customers about the products or that you’ve created for them even after they purchased that content will boost customer loyalty.
The reason is that they will feel as if you care about them. You can check in with them to see how they like their purchase, send surveys to find out what can be improved, and even provide additional resources for them based on what they bought. You’ll become a hero to them and in return they’ll be loyal to you, recommending you to their friends and colleagues.
When you share great content with your audience it also encourages engagement.
- Invite them to respond to your blog post.
- Use a proper return email address for every email you send and invite them to respond to your email messages.
- Ask them to come to your forums and groups on social media.
Build Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO enables search engines to find your content so that they can recommend it to their customers who are searching for your content. The more you follow the guidelines put out by Google with your content, the more likely they are to send your customers to consume your content.
When you use the right content, at the right time, in the right places your business will grow in all ways that matter. You’ll grow your audience, your customer base, and your revenues. The reason is that you’ll get more eyes on you due to publishing more content.
What’s more, content is a real business asset that you can continue to build on for years to come. The content you produce and publish today will continue working for you for years to come. That’s why it’s so important to have a content marketing strategy.
Why You Need A Content Marketing Plan
You know what they say about planning, right? They say that “… if you don’t plan, you’re planning to fail”. This is very true when it comes to content marketing.
No one would dream of publishing a magazine or newspaper without a content marketing plan. Creating a content marketing plan requires an understanding of your goals, your products or services, and your audience.
You need a content marketing plan because you need to create cohesive content, establish your brand identity, increase productivity, improve analytics and get the most bang for your buck. Content marketing can do all of this and more if you create a content marketing plan.
When you develop a content marketing plan, you’ll work out all the content you want to create based on the products and services that you want to promote. That doesn’t mean every piece of content is going to be promotional in nature, but it does mean that all the content you create will work together, share the same voice, and talk to the same audience.
Establish Your Brand Identity
When you plan the content you’ll create and share in advance, it helps with branding because you can keep everything similar. For example, you can decide on the voice, fonts, images, colors and more ahead of time. It’s a lot easier to explain to someone you’re outsourcing to what you want when you know what you want because you’ve planned it out.
When you create a content marketing plan you’ll know what you need to do each day to reach your goals because it’s going to be on your calendar and schedule. You will know exactly what content you’re working on creating today, what is being published today, and most importantly why you’re doing it. That’s going to make it a lot simpler to create the content you need for all parts of your business.
When you know why you’re publishing a piece of content, you’ll be able to check analytics to find out if it’s working the way you thought it would. You’ll also be able to trace what’s working and what’s not working so much better than if you’re just acting off the cuff. The plan makes some assumptions and those assumptions are used as a basis for your analytics.
Get the Most ROI
When you do all that you can with content marketing such as use the right keywords, find the right voice, create the content directly for your audience you’ll find out that your return on investment will be a lot higher. You’ll boost revenues as you boost brand awareness because more of the right people will know about you.
To create a content marketing plan you need to understand who your target audience is, the problems you solve for them, where they hang out and much more. But, once you do the things you need to do to create an amazing content marketing plan it’s going to pay off in all aspects of your business.
In the next post in this series, I’ll cover your target market and how to know who they are and where to find them. Click here to read Part 2.